NSW Department of Planning and Environment

Shoalhaven Starches has been fined a total of $107,000 in the Land and Environment Court for failing to disclose political donations when making planning applications.

The judgment is a result of a prosecution brought by the Department of Planning and Environment after a compliance investigation discovered the lack of disclosure on five applications by the company.

In addition to the $107,000 fine, Shoalhaven Starches was ordered to pay the Department's $40,000 legal costs, and publish notices in various newspapers outlining the offences.
The company pleaded guilty to five offences of failure to disclose political donations under section 147 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The five charges relate to modification applications made as part of Shoalhaven Starches' expansion project at its Bomaderry plant. 

On those applications, the company failed to disclose $23,355 in donations to political parties made between January 2013 and February 2016. The company did declare $847,372 in donations during the same period.

Department of Planning and Environment's Executive Director of Resource Assessments and Compliance, Dr Oliver Holm, said the decision was good for the transparency of the state’s planning processes.

"Under planning legislation there is an obligation on a proponent when making a planning application to report political donations," Dr Holm said.

"This is to ensure transparency in the planning process."

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